UBC Undergraduate Research

Plants Promoting Happiness : Plants as a Mechanism for Sustainable Behaviours Within CIRS Fergus, Cassidy; Heschuk, Sydney Ann; Ramirez, Mayra; Yee, Jonas


The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia was designed for the purpose of sustainability. Previous studies have indicated that the CIRS promotes an increase in sustainable behaviour amongst the people who make use of it (Wu et al, 2013). This study asked if the obvious presence of plants act as a priming mechanism to increase recycling behaviours of the individuals who recycle within the CIRS building. The sustainable behaviours of the individuals who make use of the building were observed over the course of three weeks. In the first week no plants were introduced in the lobby. In the second, nine plants were placed in and around the CIRS lobby, and in the third all the plants were removed. Sorting accuracy was observed throughout each condition and mean sorting accuracies were compared. No statistical significant difference was found between the conditions. Anecdotal evidence from people within the CIRS building shows that the plants still had a positive effect on the people who make use of the building. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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